L. Mark Govea was born to Pete and Mary Govea, longtime residents of Osawatomie where Pete was an employee of the Missouri Pacific Railroad. Mark, the oldest of Pete and Mary’s five children, was raised in Osawatomie and graduated from Osawatomie High School in 1967, Mark continued his education at Fort Scott Community College and Kansas State University, graduating with a degree in Landscape Architecture.
Mark has a long history of public service, completing four years of service in the US Navy, and retiring after 21 years of service with the City of Kansas City, Missouri. His time with the city was primarily spent with the Parks and Recreation Department, rising to the position of Parks Division Manager. He also served in the Water Department, working locally and regionally to find green solutions to stormwater runoff.
Upon retirement, Mark and his wife Cindy returned to Osawatomie to focus on family and community involvement. Mark and Cindy are blessed with three children and 14 grandchildren, as well as numerous extended family and friends in the area.
After a career as a public servant, Mark’s interest turned to service in Osawatomie’s city leadership. In 2011, he was elected to the Osawatomie City Council from Ward 3. His areas of interest on the council include Parks & Recreation and the Chamber of Commerce. He was elected Mayor in April 2013.
Mark’s volunteer activities also include Meals on Wheels delivery, Rotary International, Knights of Columbus, Catholic Charities, PRIDE Committee, and involvement in St. Philip Neri Church.
Under the Mayor-Council-Manager form of government, the citizens elect a Mayor at-large from the community. Local elections are held the first Tuesday in April, but the mayoral election only occurs in odd years. The Mayor presides at all City Council meetings and has a tie-breaking vote when the members present are equally divided. The Mayor also has the power to approve or veto any ordinance, subject to an override of the Council.
The Mayor is also responsible for:
- signing official documents on behalf of the City;
- signing the commissions and appointments of all elected and appointed officials;
- representing the City at ceremonies and meetings;
- making recommendations to the City Council.